impact 2020-2021

See The Numbers

“We are the world’s neighbors, making our communities brighter, greater, fighting for every person in every neighborhood. We, the coming of the common good. So dare to care, to be hope-sided. We’re never divided, for when we live to give, we always live united” -”Live United”

– Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate 

It’s true – when we dare to care, we fill ourselves and our neighbors with hope. United Way of Greater Chattanooga envisions a community where all individuals reach their full human potential through access to pathways of success and stability. The crises of the recent past have only emphasized the great importance of this work. But they did not slow us down – we showed up for one another. And we want you to see what that looks like. We want you to understand how United Way of Greater Chattanooga connects resources to solutions in order to empower and build a stronger, resilient community.  

– Lesley Scearce, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Chattanooga

Mission and Vision

A Stronger, Healthier Community

We envision a community where all people achieve their full human potential through education, stability, and health & well-being. By uniting people and resources, we are actively closing the gap between our vision and reality.

If Our City Could Talk

If our city could talk, what would it say?

” I am determined. I am resilient. I do not back down. “

If our city could talk, it would say ” United, we are better. Together.”

Crisis Response

When 2020 presented different crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the April 2020 tornadoes, to the everyday needs working households experience, we worked hard to unite resources and help those in need. Since then, we have remained at the forefront, continuing to help make an impact in our community. We are uniquely suited to this kind of role – harnessing the caring power of community is what we strive to do daily. Together, we can reimagine and rebuild a stronger, more resilient Greater Chattanooga. 

Calls answered through 211

Dollars raised through Restore Hope Fund

Dollars distributed through TN Cares

Dollars raised for Neediest Cases

* All data and metrics are from FY 2021: July 1st 2020 – June 30th 2021. *

Strategy & Approach

Through the caring power of tens of thousands of individuals, we invest in innovative solutions, convene the right partnerships and mobilize the best resources to fight our most dire social problems. Together, we drive measurable, lasting impact for our community.

Transformation Response

We invest in transformational community impact through our data-driven Community Investment (CI) grantmaking model. Grant selections are made by a team of community volunteers, ensuring our community is heard and involved. Partner nonprofits selected to receive funding are awarded different kinds of grants based on the program or initiative described in the application – Impact, Innovation, Capacity or Traditional Grants. Awards support organizations doing impactful work to solve community problems across three focus areas: Education, Stability and Health and Well-being.

34 agencies received Community Investment grants, funding over 60 programs.

Success Stories

Our funded partners are on the front lines every day making sure help is provided to the people who need it most. The impact they make on our community would not be possible without you.  These funded partners capture great stories, and they deserve to be shared. These stories are told through the lens of our impact areas, to give better insight into how our partners fuel our mission and vision.

Swipe through these stories to learn more about our unique partnerships.

CommUNITY Schools Program

The CommUNITY Schools program, a three-year partnership between local nonprofits Northside Neighborhood House and Helen Ross McNabb Center, serves K-12 students across the county by focusing on whole-child well-being. CommUNITY Schools have a strong focus on student...


One of our nonprofit partners, Goodwill, recently received Community Investment funding to help support their efforts to provide reliable and consistent employment opportunities which offer crucial skills and training for individuals entering the workforce....

Telehealth Audiology Programming

The Speech & Hearing Center recently received Innovation/Capacity-building funding through our Community Investment process for Telehealth Audiology Programming. Through this program, The Center was able to treat a 28-year-old woman with a congenital hearing loss,...

Chambliss Center for Children

One of our community partners, Chambliss Center for Children, recently received partial funding for the Children's Academy, formerly known as the East 5th Street Child Care Center through our Community Investment process. The Children’s Academy is located in the...

Children’s Services Program

One of our nonprofit partners, Signal Centers, recently received Community Investment funding for its Children's Services Program. At Signal, children of all abilities and incomes explore and learn together. The program includes both center-based and home-based...


Our local YMCA recently received Impact funding through our Community Investment process for two programs. The first, called ACHIEVE, aims to close the achievement gap by ensuring that children from preschool to high school have a year-around support system to ACHIEVE...

Streaming to Deter Isolation

The Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga (JFGC) recently received Innovation/Capacity-building funding through our Community Investment process for a new program called Streaming to Deter Social Isolation. This health and wellness-focused program is muti-layered...

Ensuring Child Stability

Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Inc. recently received Innovation Grant funding through our Community Investment process for Ensuring Child Stability, a project that has successfully served several hundred Hamilton County families with minor children. The ultimate goal...

Clínica Médicos

Clínica Médicos, a limited liability corporation that works in partnership with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor, strives to make quality healthcare accessible to Chattanooga’s underserved Latino community. They recently received a grant in order to emphasize the...

iGAVE Model

Do you ever wonder how to get invovled with United Way? It starts with engagement. And results in impact. iGAVE, a model and acronym we developed and use to model the path of engagement for people in our community, can be broken down like this: true engagement (E) involves volunteerism (V), advocacy (A) and generosity (G), and these things lead to impact (I). This model encourages everyone to become more active in our local community year-round.

Where Your Dollar Goes

  • Admin. Costs = $959,104 9.28% 9.28%
  • Community Engagement and Mobilization = $1,501,309 14.53% 14.53%
  • Community Programming and Direct Assistance = $3,106,219 30.1% 30.1%
  • Grants to the Community = $4,765,451 46.1% 46.1%

Million in Total Expenses

* The above financial figures are unaudited.*


With a variety of different revenue streams, we make sure that each dollar counts and is put towards making direct impact in our community. Your donations, along with other financial support, enables us to create and invest in innovative solutions. Take a look at at our campaign, endowment and investment draws, and earned and other income totals.

Your Title Goes Here
Campaign, Undesignated


These funds are raised and used to support: any community grant, United Way of Greater Chattanooga programs that serve the community, and other fundraising efforts.

Campaign, Designated/Restricted


These funds are raised and directed towards specific agencies and programs by donors. 

Endowment & Investment Draws


This is an annual draw of dollars from Endowment and Investment earnings to support administrative overhead, fundraising, and 211 operations. 

Earned & Other Income


Revenue earned from administering special programs in the community and other support services for the nonprofit community.

* The above financial figures are unaudited.*

Members in Engagement Groups

Giving Circle Donors (Alexis de Tocqueville + Leadership)

Total Donors

Volunteerism & Engagement

Volunteerism and engagement are at the root of all the work we do at United Way of Greater Chattanooga and comes in all shapes and sizes. With thousands of volunteer opportunities happening every year, we mobilize the members of our community to find opportunities that fit their needs.



Members in Giving and Engagement Groups

Individuals registered to volunteer through iHelp

Venture Forward

As a part of United Way of Greater Chattanooga, we empower and strengthen impact in the social sector through community building, professional development, advocacy, and innovation.

Venture Forward’s purpose is to inspire and spark innovative solutions and positive momentum for nonprofits and the community across the greater Chattanooga region.


653 Community Residents

Participating in convenings (forums, meetings, summits, community conversations) hosted by Venture Forward

165 Nonprofit Professionals

Engaged through Venture Forward circles

1,109 Nonprofit Professionals

Engaged through Venture Forward trainings

* All data and metrics are from FY 2021: July 1st 2020 – June 30th 2021. *

A Word From Our Campaign Chair

United Way of Greater Chattanooga is in the business of empowering impact. Yes, we raise money to fund solutions and connect resources to areas of need. But the overarching goal is to engage community members year-round in volunteerism, advocacy and generosity. When we live united, we build a stronger, more resilient community.  

More Ways to Get Involved


Your donation stays local to support life-changing efforts in your own backyard.



Find opportunities to share your time and talents with those who need it most.



Share your voice to impact the education, stability and health of our neighbors.


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